“I can do without your money,” she cried. “I’m making money out of Johnnie Gallegher’s mill, plenty of it, now that I don’t use free darkies and I have some money out on mortgages and we are coining cash at the store from the darky trade.”
“Yes, so I heard. How clever of you to rook the helpless and the widow and the orphan and the ignorant! But if you must steal, Scarlett, why not steal from the rich and strong instead of the poor and weak? From Robin Hood on down to now, that’s been considered highly moral.”
“Because,” said Scarlett shortly, “it’s a sight easier and safer to steal—as you call it—from the poor.”
He laughed silently, his shoulders shaking.
“You’re a fine honest rogue, Scarlett!”
You could pretty easily envision most of our elected officials, after a few bourbons, being as honest as Scarlett, and with few edits to her words.
It's a little like an unholy version of the rosary.
Tax cuts for the rich. Bailouts for the banks. Limitless funds for imperial wars. No money for health care. No money for jobs programs. No money for social services and the unemployed. Union breaking, union giveaways. Budget crisis, deficit hysteria. Tax cuts. Tax cuts. Tax cuts. Amen.
The House’s Republican majority gives initial approval to a budget plan decreasing spending, mainly by cutting back social services.
It's happening everywhere, of course. Nationally, state by state, and in counties and cities and villages all across the US. No money for schools. No money for health care clinics. No money for firefighter pensions, for the disabled, the students. Unions - yeah, they're the problem. The unemployed are "lazy", those getting evicted made "bad decisions". Blame the victim, feed the perpetrators, coddle the rich, let the poor die slowly.
There are protests, of course, just as there were protests to the build up to the Iraq War. Sometimes they get press coverage.
Most of the time, though, they don't get any coverage at all. Activists aren't interesting to the corporate media, unless they are being used to discredit grassroots organizations like ACORN. Then, the coverage is as thick as wasps on an uncovered bottle of Mountain Dew in the August sun.
The unemployed, they're not interesting. Not like Charlie Sheen or the Tea Party. They're dreary, they're scary. They remind us of what we could easily become, and that's never a comforting thing. It's a lot easier to blame them for their plight and then ignore them.
Even less interesting than the unemployed and soon-to-be-homeless are the sick. The media's attention may be caught by a heart-tugging sick person, rather like the puppy-rescued-from-the-sewer - you know, the one in ten thousand who garners 500 offers of adoption.
The can't-afford-to-be-sick everywhere in the US try to emulate the tactics used by those handful of successful fund raising stories; there are many websites and books giving advice on how to procure enough nickels and dimes to afford your next round of chemo:
There are various ways that you can raise the money necessary for the procedures you or your child need. The jar in a shop is just one method, although it can be quite effective, all those nickels and dimes add up to a considerable amount of cash!
how to raise money for medical expenses
Like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire victims, the end result of these feed-the-rich-at-all-costs policies are dead bodies. They become dead in an interesting variety of ways,
But then it's back to bread and circuses, endless war and "shared sacrifice".
Some people preach a gospel saying "The worse, the better". When enough people are suffering enough, they will finally unite and take action. And I suppose there is a kernel of truth in this. But there's another truth: Victories are energizing. Victories give hope, and hope spreads.
So how do we begin to log more of these elusive victories? Do we count on right-wing overreach to have the hoped-for backfire effect? Do we hope for more Wisconsin-style uprisings? What's the roadmap to progressive victory look like?
We're all trying to navigate these bumpy highways, paved as they are with the bones of working people. We don't have to stand in line to be culled, like steer on an abattoir ramp. If you are afraid to take action - afraid you may lose the little you still have - I would urge you to remember the words of Emiliano Zapata: "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees." Because as long as you have anything, they don't have enough. And they'll be coming for whatever it is you're clinging too - and soon.
In Chicago and elsewhere activists are gathering on April 9th for two important events
If you are in the Chicago are, please join us for these events. If you are elsewhere, find a local event to participate in, find a local activist group to get involved in, commit yourself to taking 3 actions per week to secure a livable future for all of us. We owe it to those who fought this fight before us, and we owe it to those who are depending on us to hand them a future that is worth living.
Tales of the ultimate battle - good and evil, armageddon, last days, and all that - have been part of human storytelling always. I don't know if this battle we're currently engaged in is the "ultimate" one or not - certainly the dialectical materialist economists seemed to think so - but it's pretty epic, regardless. So what do you do when you're "caught in the crossfire between heaven and hell"? There's no hiding places, in the end. So - fight!